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VeganEssentials

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  1. This all depends on how you stand on bone-char processing - some brands use it, some don't, but if you don't worry about that process then anything powdered should be adequate. If you're concerned about bone-char processing, look for a brand such as Hain as they have an organic powdered sugar that's made so you don't have to worry about this issue. Ryan
  2. Event stuff today, definitely fun. Got there late but jumped into the yoke right away. Did one run with 460ish for about 50 feet, switched directions and came back with about 10-20 seconds between. Did better with heavier stuff this time - did around 640ish for about 50 feet, rested for a few seconds, wrapped up the last 25 or so feet. Better than last time where I made about 15-20 feet total at most! Only thing is my right knee feels just slightly off, probably beat it up a bit when I got unstable with the 640 and dropped it. Should be better in a few days. Reverse band overhead log work (log suspended from bands in a tall power rack to make the initial press easier, hard at lockout - basically it goes from feeling like about 150 lbs. to double the weight by the time it is fully overhead). Did some doubles and triples up to a shaky 315 with either complete or near-complete deload at lockout. Not good with this yet since I've done almost no log work since late summer, so I've gotta get back on this stuff. Wrapped up with stones, had some good times in this area. Hit a new PR of a 345 lb. stone to 49" with relative ease, tried 3 times to get 375 but only managed to break it off the ground a little bit. I swear, if I'd have lapped it I'd have loaded it! Did about 7-8 singles with 285 to 49" and 53" as well (I thought it was 250!) and that did it for the day. Good stuff, should be squatting again on Tuesday, back with a writeup then!
  3. I'd agree, it is stupid to waste and the scenario paints the portrait of a hypothetical asshole, but we're comparing two totally different scenarios here in a pricey personal item vs. being next to a starving person and denying them your leftovers because you want to be a jerk. Two totally different things, unable to be compared in any way whatsoever. Nobody is buying a $500 watch then tossing it away while a man who will die if he doesn't know what time it is waits nearby. I understand you've got an aversion toward anything that's not the bare minimum necessary, but you have to ask yourself, is that the only way that everyone should view it? Perhaps we should only wear fair-trade reinforced ripstop organic cotton or hemp cargo pants in natural cotton color because a) they're functional with extra pockets, b) the natural fiber color means there's no dyes in the item that could be harmful, and the organics remove the harmful pesticieds from the process, c) the ripstops and reinforcements mean less worry about pants tearing and having to buy new pants, meaning you can get more wear out of them, and d) the factor is that you won't be contributing to sweatshop labor. Even if you bought other pants, they wouldn't be as functional as these and you might have to buy pants more often, so we could find holes in what you have now and declare some things "wasteful" if we really sought to look for a reason. See where I'm coming from? It's a fine line to say that one thing is a waste, but yet none of us are perfect in what we buy, and we could ALL do better, you and I included. Again, we're only human and emotion-driven, as can easily be seen by the various responses in this argument because we're not all approaching this from a purely functional standpoint. But, it's only the line YOU have drawn, and I know a lot of hard-working, selflessly giving people who don't have anything fancy who couldn't care less if I were to walk around in a $3000 Armani suit. They don't care simply because there are better ways to judge people - by giving a crap about a $500 watch and basing an opinion on the wearer based solely on value you're just as guilty as someone who admires it for how expensive it is. The best solution to tackling the situation is to live and let live with things that don't affect anyone but the purchaser. As a grown-up punk rock mentality kid, I've learned that the battles I pick and choose need to be done carefully, and I'd rather know more about someone before instantly dismissing them based on something as stuipd as an aversion to their possessions. Shit, being judged on my appearance pissed me off to no end, so why would I inflict this same mentality on someone else and be completely hypocritical? I don't agree with this. I've heard a few things here of people that seemed to have some pretty nice watches that have a bit more functionality than you can get in a $20 model. You simply can't expect the same bells and whistles for one low price. I find that just as many men I come into contact with have the same fondness for expensive things - they just prefer to get them in the forms of cars, stereos, video gaming systems and things because it seems more justifiable than a handbag or earrings. Maybe not where you are, but Milwaukee is full of both genders yearning to wow each other with material goods. It's a cop-out to make it sound like this is primarily one-sided in favor of one gender over another just because it is stereotyped in that manner. So, what if you met someone you thought was really cool, got to know them, and then found out that they had on a $500 watch? Would that blow a relationship with someone? I mean, you've posted that anyone who has such a thing is an asshole and has "crossed the line", so obviously you'd never want to speak to this person again after discovering this fact about their watch. I hate to say it, J, but this last part is a bizarre contradiction to everything else you've said above, and I don't really know which way I'd believe you'd tend to lean in this case because I've heard two different stories. Maybe you don't even know, but I do urge you as someone who has felt judged to not be a judge yourself because for those of us who have been on the receiving end, we know how much it sucks to be there. Ryan
  4. But, this is an "apples to oranges" comparison. One is meant to have a specific function and does not have options for varying prices based on appearance, the other is meant to be an accessory that's based on one's personal preferences. As I get dragged shopping more than I like, I know that when my wife finds something she likes she looks for the cheapest option, but if she can't find a low-cost item and it's something she really wants she will pay more for it (even if the cost does not affect the functionality.) A PS2 is a PS2, but what if one came in, say, camouflage color for $50 more and you were hopelessly addicted to color-coordingating your living room to a jungle theme and there was no other option at a lesser cost? You'd likely but the camo-colored one even though it was a bit more because, as it goes, we're only human and we don't simply buy everything based solely off functionality. If we did, we'd all be living very different lives, as all that we studied or performed would be based of functional aspects to only improve our lives. I always felt that what one does with their money is their own business, so long as the money isn't being spent on objectionable products/services/investments that are hurting people, animals or the envrionment. Even if the spending is on something objectionable, it is STILL someone's own business, but I would feel compelled to speak up about my opinion on it. I feel that if someone is vegan and socially responsible, if they want to indulge and get themselves a few higher-end items then what purpose does it serve to look down upon them? I think that there are bigger battles to be fought than causing alienation or hard feelings over something that only affects the person who made the purchase. Once we start getting on people about their purchasing habits (providing they're within reason and morally/ethically responsible) we overstep our bounds. It's like saying "Why are you eating Boca burgers when you could make your own for half the cost?", or "Why did you buy that bottled water to take to the gym instead of just filling your bottle up at home for free?" Where does the line get drawn once we start deciding what's right or wrong for someone else, primarily since we base our opinions off our own beliefs first and usually override the big picture to consider that not everyone else is the same? Just something to ponder.
  5. Jonathan, I'm adopting Sensless' attitude toward equipped lifts - I'd like to be able to hit about 1450-1500 lbs. raw before I start using equipment. I think that I can add about 50 lbs. to the bench this year if I work it hard, and I'm quite confident that I can get the squat and DL up to 600 each as well, putting me well past the desired amount. Once I get around that total I'll probably buy a shirt and squat suit and see what happens - it'd be nice to eventually post a 1700+ total, so we'll see what happens in the next year! I'm definitely not anti-gear - I just think that I still have a lot of natural strength to develop first, and once that really comes to a peak then it'll be time to play around with other stuff. This past 2 years has taken me from a 350 lb. squat to what I estimate will be 525 within a month, a 400 DL to 545 and a 250 bench to 300 (with almost no work on benching!), so I'm going to slam myself silly first to build a super-solid base and then start looking to try equipment a bit just to find out what kind of totals I can post once or twice a year for competition. Though, I'll probably enter USAPL meets like the one I did before, so it'll all be single-ply and not the super suits that some of the less-strict federations use. You've got a bench that's equal to mine, your DL is strong, and if you push that squat hard I bet you'll be cracking the 400 lb. mark before long. Just keep hammering out those core lifts and I won't be surprised if you add 100-150 lbs. to your total in the next year without much trouble. Work that overhead pressing and do some bench variations to boost that area (close-grip and lockouts), and start laying down the squats from all heights and styles and I bet you'll see the numbers jump quickly. Best thing you can do is find a contest about 6-10 months away, commit to entering it, and go for it - nothing will push you to gain more quickly than having a deadline to meet (which is what I just did with signing up for the Chicago's Strongest Man event in April!), so give a PL meet a try and have some fun with it! I didn't do well in my first meet, but now I know better about how to approach it next time and I'll destroy my first total next time I hit a comp in 2005! Ryan Ryan
  6. Hey, Rob! Thanks for the compliment - things are finally coming together after all these years, so hopefully I can keep pushing on and those 800+ lb. quarter squats will one day be full squats! By the way, did that package happen to arrive yet? Ryan
  7. Chest and random stuff tonight - Close grip bench press (hands 14" apart) - 1x5 @ 135 1x5 @ 185 1x3 @ 225 5x3 @ 255 Hise Shrugs 1x10 @ 315 1x10 @ 405 1x10 @ 495 1x10 @ 585 (PR) Walked out with 630, was getting spent for heavy stuff, did 2 reps and stopped at that weight. 1x20 @ 405 Overhead shrugs in the....ugh....smith machine (still getting used to the feel of these, will drop the smith in a week or two) 1x10 @ 180 (not counting stupid counterbalanced bar) 1x10 @ 270 1x10 @ 320 Seated barbell wrist curls 2x10 @ 135 (wrists a bit sore lately, need to get them back up to speed) Inspired by a video of Jesse Marunde doing a 495 lb. behind the neck push jerk, I decided to see how lighter ones felt. Did 3x8 @ 135 since I never do behind the neck pressing, didn't feel too bad once I got the timing right. That's all for today! Event training or deadlifts this weekend and that'll do it. Ryan
  8. Minor hijack here! I'd REALLY watch out on doing leg presses if you've got back problems - even tough the weight isn't on your upper half, leg presses compress your spine in really weird ways that aren't natural and can be far worse for you. I've never hurt my back squatting (even with 855 lbs. on me for quarter squats), but I've managed to injure my back 3 times in the past on various leg press machines. The only two leg press machines that I'd consider remotely "safe" are either the horizontal version (usually a weight stack machine style) or the old-school vertical press where you lie on your back on the floor with the weights directly over you. Anything that's set at an angle is bad news as far as I'm concerned. If you can get access to a reverse hyper machine to rehab your back you can fix just about any problem in time and squat without pain again. Not easy to find one of these things, but from what I hear they're worth their weight in gold for correcting disc problems and strengthening your lower back beyond belief! A good chiropractor doesn't hurt, either.
  9. Interesting thread! I've met a few people who have both the altruistic side as well as the materialistic side - people have donated thousands to charities (I'm talking animal rights/welfare here primarily) yet they do wear expensive clothes, watches, drive fancy cars etc. at the same time. Now, the question is - even though they chose to donate large (one case in know of, in the range of $35-40k/year), does this impact your views on them because they also choose to spend a lot on themselves as well? I do understand that it is important of giving - heck, I've already lost count of how much we've donated in the past year to worthy causes - but do people here think that if someone chooses to have overpriced luxuries is more selfish and "assholeish" even if they do a lot of good with a large amount of their finances? A few "rich" people I've met in the vegan community felt like they were unwelcome to be deeply involved in the movement because they felt that choice to buy expensive things was frowned upon, even though they put lots of money into the movement through their donations. I say that it takes all types and I'd rather judge by actions than possessions, but that's just me!
  10. I warrants me saying it on more than one board - congratulations on the victory! Excellent work - keep it up, and let's see more 1st places in 2006! Ryan
  11. Had to atone for my sins of laziness and slacking over the past week, so I did an extra-long session today to make up for it. Legs and shoulders - didn't feel great at the start, but it got better as the time went on. Overhead presses in the rack - 1x5 (strict) @ 135 1x3 (strict) @ 185 1x3 (push) @ 225 1x3 (push) @ 255 1x1 (push) @ 265, failed on 2nd rep. Curses! 1x5 (push) @ 225 Squats - 1x5 @ 225 1x3 @ 315 1x2 @ 405 1x2 @ 435 1x2 @ 455 Didn't feel like I was going to make it for a bit - winded really quickly, just felt crappy with the squats. 1x5 @ 315 Next, stacked some plates to 12" for box squat simulating, did a 3 quick doubles with a light 275 and a very wide stance. Standing overhead lockouts in the rack - done from about 4" above head height, bar was high up since I didn't want to do them seated today - 1x5 @ 135 1x5 @ 185 1x5 @ 225 1x3 @ 275 1x6 @ 225 Good mornings up next - 1x5 @ 275 2x3 @ 335 Just didn't have the feel for them today, didn't push my luck. Wrapped up with some squat lockouts, just about a 6-8" ROM from bottom up - [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] All lockouts were held for 10 seconds, except the 855 which was just for about a 5 second hold. Felt good for more, but nothing I can do about that - no more room left on the gym bar to add more, that was it for the day. I feel good now that I actually did some freaking work - it wasn't my best, but that'll come soon enough. Should get in some back and chest work Thursday, maybe some event stuff this weekend if anything's going on!
  12. What can I say? I'm a vast well of useless trivia!
  13. One more point I forgot to make - sometimes, small countries "buy" experienced lifters from other countries to add to their teams. Qatar, for example, had been a country with literally nobody in medal contention for as long as they'd had a team, but they struck a deal with Bulgaria for a few of their exceptional lifters who were up-and-coming, and before you knew it they had some of the best in the business on their team. Suddenly, people were wondering why it was that a tiny country with no previous medal-winners had a team that was exceptional - in the end it was purely because of a deal made to get some quality talent into their country. Now you can see why some of these countries (primarily in the Middle East) have people of obviously much more western European appearance on their team roster. Add in name changes (such as Petar Tanev to Saleem Saeed Badr) and that's what goes on! Ryan
  14. Had a slow week for lifting last week after the good squat day. Wednesday did some olympic stuff, just lots of power snatches with 164 lbs. for singles through triples to get started, did some 18" deadlifts with a lower weight of 405 just to get used to the height more. Did around 8 sets of 2-4 pulls with various stance widths of conventional and sumo, still working on getting the feel right. Other than that no lifting for the rest of the weekend, should be squatting again tomorrow! Ryan
  15. There are some interesting things in the article, but unfortunately, it seems that the author has some misconceptions regarding olympic weightlifting - Yes, there are small countries that have incredible teams, but it isn't simply because they have better "technology" than we do. There are a host of reasons as to why this can be explained: 1. In countries outside the USA, potential olympians are scouted at a VERY young age from a broad spectrum of children that are screened athletically for natural ability to excel in sports. In the USA, unless you have a specific interest in a sport and pursue it at your choosing (or, your parent's choosing), there is little to persuade anyone to go into weightlifting as it is not a widely recognized and respected sport here, and second, there is no money in it. In some countries, children that are identified through screening to have potential for weightlifting will then be enrolled in special "athletics" schools where they will work on coordination, performance and increasing skill to improve their ability further. Some of these kids will have had years of daily training before they are out of high school, where American teenagers will typically only train in their off time between school and other distractions. Mind you, this will become a daily activity and a great focus intertwined with their education, whereas here in the USA children are not put to the same level and started on this path so young. Yes, it is a partial sacrifice of what it is to be a child of your own free doing in some ways, but that is part of how these kids grow to be champions at such an early age. 2. In other countries, weightlifting and being in the olympics is one of the highest honors one could have and potentially the difference between working a farm for the rest of your life or being a national hero and having far more potential for income after your career is complete. If you knew that this was your shot at fame and fortune or possibly poverty, wouldn't you train like your life depended on it! 3. Most olympic lifters in other countries have lives that revolve around their training, not the other way around. Most of the countries with successful lifters will train 5-6 days/week, 2-3 times per day - this is what they exist for, and the live to succeed in their activity. American olympic lifters do train extremely hard, but let's face it - we as Americans typically do not put forth the same effort as those in other countries that will fight to the death for the same thing. There's a lot of psychology involved in why we don't excel in weightlifting (one US coach went so far as to write an article recently calling all American athletes, specifically the US weightlifting team, "lazy"), and this has a great deal to do with our falling behind as well. There are some intesting points in the article, but I do not agree that everything lies in the "secrets" that other countries possess. If that were the case, when the coach of the Romanian team started working in the USA we'd have picked up on these things and taken the lead again! Unfortunately we just don't put the same focus on olympic sport as most other nations do, and that's just the way things are. Who wants to be a heavyweight lifter for a medal when you can earn millions as a football player? There's a lot to consider, so I'm always leery of "secrets" that provide an advantage (even drug-related ones), because it really is quite complex as to why things work out as they do with comparing the USA to the rest of the weightlifting world! Ryan
  16. Bigbwii, That's why we need people like yourself so that things can be kept honest! You're going back to raw because it's what you want to do and not because you're going to make outrageous claims or write a book about it, and to most people your experiences with it will mean more than those of someone who has something to gain monetary-wise who doesn't come out to prove what he says he's capable of. Again, if Arlin would step forward and talk about all this in a public manner then perhaps people wouldn't look down on him, but unfortunately when you put yourself in the spotlight you've got a responsibility to prove something whether you want to or not. Hopefully you'll wind up doing better than Arlin claimed he could regarding his lifts and appearance (I think you've already got the physique part much better already) to show everyone it really can be done on a raw diet, rather than leaving people to wonder if any of it was really true. Ryan
  17. I've also always been a skeptic of some of the Arlin stuff that's been put around. Not to mention what you said about Scott Brodie - how can someone use him as an example when he retired from powerlifting over 2 decades ago and is just starting to get back into it again? That's like saying if someone like powerlifter Garry Frank with a 2800 lb. total decided to go vegan after going into retirement and then making claims that an animal-free diet is why he was so strong. You just can't do it that way and expect credibility. Who knows, maybe Arlin is strong as an ox and can make the benches he claims (maybe he's a genetic freak and was born to bench?) but when someone makes claims that are way beyond what seem logically reasonable by their appearance and are world-class lifts, there should always be a way to verify them as true. This is even more necessary when the person making the claims has something to gain from product sales that could be increased by people believing these statements. I don't mean to sound like a naysayer about anyone's abilities, but when something just doesn't sound right there's no better way to clear the air than with proof - if someone claims a lift that's extremely difficult and impressive then they need to be able to put up and show what they've got. I'd be hugely impressed if I could even see Arlin knock out 300x12, and I've give huge credit for that even if it wasn't as much as the original claim of 20 reps. Will we ever see such proof come out? Ryan I found a page of Scott Brodie online. He did those lifts back when he ate meat. To see him now (as a vegan) and compare it to then, is not remotely a good advertisement for being strong on a vegan diet. Anyway, hopefully Arlin just made an honest mistake when he made it sound like Brodie did that as a raw vegan. Scott Brodie.... I don't know.... http://www.rawfood.com/brodie.html
  18. I just posted this sample routine that's pretty no-nonsense over at another site, but here's something that might help stir things up a bit (I'll get to advice on your current plan afterward!) Day 1 - Legs and shoulders (two groups that do not interfere with each other) 1. Barbell or dumbbell clean (from floor to shoulders) and overhead press - 1-2 warmup sets, 3x6-8 reps work sets. The clean part is done to warm up the legs and lower back while working the shoulders, which will get you ready for the leg work. 2. Full squats - parallel or deeper, 1-3 warmup sets, 3x6-8 reps work sets 3. Stiff legged deadlifts, knees slightly bent to 15-25 degrees - 3x6-8 reps work sets (no warmup necessary unless you feel it is for the best) This will take care of your legs and shoulders with no worries about added junk thrown in, all good compound exercises and you can be in and out in less than an hour easily. Rest 1-2 days Day 2 - Upper back and chest work 1. Barbell or dumbbell rows - 1-2 warmup sets, 3 work sets of 6-8 reps 2. Pull-ups (assisted if you can't do enough normally) or single-arm pulldowns - 3 work sets of 6-8 reps (no need to warm up here) 3. Incline bench press barbell or DB - 1-2 warmup sets, 3 work sets of 6-8 reps 4. Close-grip flat bench (hands 10-14" apart) - 3 work sets of 6-10 reps You'll hit your upper back well from 2 angles, and you'll hit your chest and triceps well enough in there as well, again with no filler and a quick workout. Rest 1-2 days Day 3 - Lower back work / fun stuff 1. Deadlifts from floor - 1-3 warmup sets, 3 work sets of 6-8 reps 2. Deadlift lockouts in a power rack (from just above knees to a finished deadlift position) - 3 work sets of 6-8 reps with 20-30% more weight than was pulled from the floor 3. From here, pick 2 more exercises that don't conflict with the rest of the week's lifting and have fun with them. If you want to train arms a bit more, hit some dumbbell hammer curls (after the incline and close-grip benching you probably won't have much urge to do any tricep work!). If you feel you need more trapezius work, toss in some shrugs. If you want to do grip or forearm work, throw some in. If you want to try some olypic lifts, do them here. A lot of times I make one day per week the random day where I have one thing I MUST do, such as deadlifts, and the rest is whatever feels good. This keeps you looking forward to getting in there and you still get everything done, but now you get to pick a bit more instead of always following the same routine. Rest 1-2 days and repeat! This focuses on quite a few compound exercises, leaves out the isolation work and junk that just takes up time for those who don't necessarily need to put focus into one part, and you'll get the most "bang for your buck" with the things that are listed here. As for my suggestions regarding what you've posted for your routine - 1. I know that if I give 100% to every workout there's no way that I can squat or deadlift within 3-4 days of each other, much less could I do each one twice in one week. If your squats and deadlifts don't leave you on the floor once you're done with your last set, then improving the time spent on intensity for these exercises is recommended. If you can't go heavy enough yet to safely only grind out only 6 reps as a max in one set and peak on that last rep, then keep the reps a bit higher but on that last set, don't leave ANYTHING left to do more. I frequently have to lie on the ground after a particularly brutal set, because standing up just takes too much work afterward. Think in terms of this for making the most for your gains - if you can still hold a conversation without gasping for air when you're done with the hardest exercises in your week, then you can always be going harder. The difference between putting on 5 lbs. in a year and 20 lbs. isn't only in the exercises you do, but how you do them! 2. You've got back exercises 2 days in a row, which I don't really recommend. They are performed in different planes of movement, but they still target the majority of the same muscles and therefore should be done on the same day or a bit further apart. I've never really been big on splits where you do more than 2 parts in a day because if you give everything you've got, the last parts you train will always be lowered in effectiveness for all that you've done beforehand. Perhaps splits like chest/back and legs/shoulders are better suited (the first with antagonist muscle groups, the second because they simply don't get in the way of each other). Sometimes simplifying a routine is the best thing you can do to get progress fired up to new levels. 3. If you want to do more for chest you don't necessarily have to add other things, but perhaps a more evenly-based method like incline benching and flat bench with a close grip (to put more emphasis on triceps) would be a good way to go as I outlined in the above program. This way you're hitting your chest with extremely effective exercises (and your triceps, too!) without taking the time to go the isolation route. I recommend 2 major movements for each large body part (sometimes one for shoulders for me, as long as I nearly die doing that lift) and I almost always avoid doing anything that isn't going to produce maximum results. If you do your compound movements well enough, you can often find that secondary stuff for triceps and biceps can be excluded or done infrequently since they are often well involved in the major lifts. 4. Have you been training this type of routine all year so far? If so, you might see that a "less is more" approach will do wonders for you. When I cut my training down from 5 days/week to 3 and gave myself more time to recover is when the progress really started. Don't get me wrong - I love to spend time in the gym and used to try and find reasons to go there at every chance, but quality doesn't equal quantity and if you don't get enough rest then you won't get great results no matter how well-suited the program is for your body. This is why I have more rest days listed in the sample program - it is great for those with limited time or who have been training more frequently and could use a change that's suited for optimal recovery. 5. How much cardio are you doing? I guess that before I ask this, I should ask, what is your main goal that you're trying to accomplish? If you're looking purely to add size and strength, excessive cardio will keep this from happening as well as it could. If you are looking to keep cardio up for the fact that you like to run, participate in sports, etc. then that's great, but if you simply want to get big and strong then you may want to at least temporarily lessen the cardio work while putting focus into building yourself up. Don't get me wrong - you can still do both, but every mile you run will make it slightly harder to add that extra bit of size you lifted to achieve just the day before. Some people believe that you MUST do cardio at all time otherwise you'll get fat, but as long as you watch your body and control your calories you can still mange fat levels quite well with minimal cardio. 6. I wouldn't necessarily change exercises every week - at least, not all of them. Typically, I'll always keep the main focus lift consistent (squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and a rowing movement) but if I feel like changing things up after the essentials are done, so be it. There's no written law that playing around with varying your secondary exercises will cost you your progress, so if one week you feel like doing pull-ups instead of cable rows, then do them as you wish. However, I do recommend keeping the main lifts stable at least for a good cycle of 6-10 weeks before swapping them out for something else as otherwise you really aren't giving them proper time to make the most of them. And, if you were to change out squats for leg presses, for example, you'd be taking a step backward and that's not the way to go. Just listen to your body, see how you feel when you get in (not every day will go according to plan) and make the most of each workout. Sorry for the long rant - just thought I could put in a bit of advice and see if it might help a bit! Ryan
  19. I cast my vote, under no influence from the above post regarding hot Pokemon sex!
  20. Will - I actually did hit 500 just a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be a while until I could get that amount for more than a single. To hit just a few lbs. shy for a double without an assist was a big surprise, so I was pretty pleased with that. I'm aiming for 500x3 within the next 2 months or so and 500x5 by summer, but hopefully I can reach these sooner than expected if today is an indication of progress! Ryan
  21. Daniel, You did win - I just have been so damned swamped to get this thing set and wrapped up. I guarantee, before the weekend is out your gift certificate will actually be on the way! Ryan
  22. Squat day today! Trained with the guy who has the super-nice equipment at his business and set a new mark in the squat today. First, warmed up with some olympic lifting just to warm up. Did a few sets of 50kg (110lbs) for some pwer snatches and power jerks. Did a few more doubles in clean and power jerk with 70kg (154 lbs) and finally a few last doubles with 90kg (198 lbs). Made some attempts to power clean 120kg (264 lbs) but kept missing it by an inch and I lost it on 3 tries, so nothing spectacular there. It would have been relatively easy to get overhead if I could clean it, but that's a weak spot of mine for sure. Headed to squats next - 1x3 pause low on pins @ 315 1x3 @ 405 1x2 @ 455 1x2 @ 495 + a third assisted rep (basically, I was scolded mid-set for stopping at 2 so I stepped back from racking and did the 3rd with some help) That was it! Short and sweet, hit a new mark with the heavy stuff and it was good. Hope to do some event training tomorrow back there again, will post when it's done!
  23. Just to add, what I think is amazing is at the Bally's that I used to go to, they would occasionally put out info for a CFT course that they'd endorse for potential trainers that would give you your certification in just one 3-HOUR SESSION! Now, I don't know what quality of trainers they'd expect to get working in their gym from this, but would YOU trust anyone whose certification came from notthing more than a few hours' lecture followed by a short multiple-choice test? It just goes to show that the larger the franchise, the lower the standards for who they'll let on the floor to train their clients... Ryan
  24. Daniel, Glad that the form changes have helped a bit! A few things to keep the bar in place a bit better so that it doesn't slip off so easily - 1. Grip further out on the bar toward the collars. I find that if I keep my hands in closer to my shoulders it puts more strain on my wrists, but if I move my hands out to about 8" from the collars then I get a better grip and have no wrist pain at all. 2. Make sure you pull your shoulder blades in and tighten your traps before you get under the bar. 3. Do some additional trap/upper back work to build a better ledge for the bar to sit on. Hise shrugs (set the bar in a squat position and shrug upward with it on your back) will do a bit and get you more comfortable to have the bar riding lower, and just about any other shrugging movement will work for this as well. The more mass you carry in that are, the more stable the bar will be. 4. Finally, if you can get away with it, rub some chalk across your back where the bar will rest as this will keep it from slipping down as well. I've only done this a few times, but I can definitely say that it works. If you have to be covert about chalk use, wear a white t-shirt and chalk up before you head in to lift (such as in the parking lot or locker room bathroom). This way nobody will see it on you, and the only trace will be a bit of residue on the bar when you're done (which can usually be wiped off easily with a damp towel.) Even doing a few of these things will help greatly, so hopefully they'll work well for you! My traps were slashed to pieces the first few times I started doing low-bar squats, but after a few workouts your skin will toughen up and you'll rarely ever take a beating from them (unless you do dozens of sets or something where you get under the bar again and again). Hopefully these tips will help a bit! Ryan
  25. Kollision, Right now, I don't have any plans to pick my cert back up - I put in between 50 and 60 hours/week with my current business, and as much as training would be fun, I just don't have the time to do justice to 2 separate things that would both dominate my life. It just happened that within 2 months of getting my certification (and being jerked around by a small training facility that I had been led to believe was going to hire me...) I happened to get involved in my wife's business and have been here ever since. I've always dreamed of opening my own gym, but since it would be strength-sport focused I probably wouldn't have too many people looking for training but that just want to use quality equipment that they can't find anywhere else This is very true, but for example, a huge majority of top powerlifters tend to train in a very specialized manner that does actually include quite a few special exercises that I could have never known about until I actually began studying it more. Despite the appearance that a deadlift is just a deadlift, some of the best at it will rarely ever actually train that specific lift outside of competitio; rather, they rely on specialized assistance work to improve it, making huge gains to their competition lift total while avoiding doing regular deadlifts for weeks or months on end. Something of this sort (which is definitely a bit of an exception) travels against conventional training wisdom but works for many people, and that would require in-depth study to find how to use this to a client's advantage. Since most people training in a commercial setting will never wind up having someone who comes to them looking to add 80 lbs. to their deadlift it isn't important for everyone, but for me, if I were to start training I'd want to be versed in all activities and ready for anything. And, like you said, depending on where you train people will also impact your abilities to suit their needs based on equipment, space constraints, and silly rules (such as no olympic lifts, no deadlifting, no chalk etc.) But, that's just the way I'd go about it if I were to get into training - I couldn't be happy just helping people to lose a few lbs. to look better when going to the beach! Ryan
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